The County, a handy restaurant and B&B for many with its close proximity to Aycliffe Business Park, has been enjoying plenty of busy days and nights thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and marketing support from local creative agency, Thrive.
Thrive came on board to help The County manage their online presence after its new owner, Michael Parkin, took over the popular restaurant in late 2019.
Although it has been a tough few months for the hospitality sector, Michael’s determination to make a success of reopening has proved fruitful, with a number of incentives and Covid-secure practices put in place to ensure new and old customers alike visited over the summer.
The County enjoyed a busy August, bolstered by its participation in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which continued on a reduced level throughout September, along with special permission from Great Aycliffe Town Council to expand the outside seating area onto the village green, to support the restaurant in its endeavours to provide social distanced seating.
Michael said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by local support and the number of people who have come back to the restaurant, when we know for some it’s not a decision that has been made lightly.
“From those who have visited. we’ve had fantastic feedback on our efforts to go ‘one step further’ and offer customised social distancing, offering more than two metres socially distanced from other patrons wherever possible.”
The restaurant has also been boosted by marketing and creative input from business park agency, Thrive, who are regular customers and have already generated positive results for the restaurant.
Thrive has been supporting The County with organic and paid social advertising, and has seen success in its promotion of the news that The County received a rare accolade in August, being named one of TripAdvisor’s ‘Travellers’ Choice Winners 2020’, placing them in the top 10% of restaurants worldwide.
The award signifies the excellent service and dining experience delivered by The County, and Thrive’s digital marketing team created a carefully-curated, paid targeted ad to deliver this message to almost 6,000 people at the height of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, ensuring the restaurant remained busy throughout.
Rachael Farley, Thrive’s digital marketing executive, said: “It’s been great to see The County get back on its feet and make a success of all of the initiatives and opportunities offered to the hospitality sector, and it’s wonderful to think our paid advertising and social media support has helped towards that.
“Our paid social media campaign reached 6,000 people for less than £20 and achieved almost 230 engagements, ensuring people in a targeted geographical area were reminded about, or introduced to, such a brilliant local restaurant.”
The County is delighted to see support for its Covid-secure efforts continue after the official Eat Out to Help Out scheme ended in August, and Michael hopes to welcome more new and regular visitors in the coming months, as the team is ready to serve the locally supplied homemade meals, and real ale, it has built its name on.
Michael added: “I would like to thank Thrive for all that they have helped us with over the last couple of months, it’s been a weight off my mind to know that I don’t have to worry about our marketing presence, and I can focus on the important task of running my business during these challenging times.”
Thrive is a creative and marketing agency situated within Xcel Centre, on Aycliffe Business Park. Discover their latest insights and what they do at thriveability.co.uk.